Week 149

I realized that I never explained the new version of Earthify that uses Google Maps.  In this version, rather than having to install Google Earth and all of that crap, you can just use it right in your browser.  It still scrapes Craigslist and plots the posts for geographical consumption.  It is now also AJAX-ified, meaning that you don’t have to wait until my poor server loads and scrapes every page.  It plots them one at a time so you can look at the results while it is working.  I feel like the Ted Nelson of the Craiglist mashup world.  Will my creation never be fully appreciated like HousingMaps was?

I started what will eventually be a private YouTube at tv.urbart.com using PandaStream.  This site is currently just PHP and JavaScript.  There is now a fully-javascript Panda example where the Rails Pandastream github used to be.  Feel free to upload a video!  And for all 4 of you reading this, if you want to be part of it when I eventually password protect it, please email me and let me know.

This week was the first Web as Platform class at Bennington, where I am the computing faculty.  I realized at some point in planning that I couldn’t do both PHP and JavaScript in one term.  Although I think that JavaScript has more long-term usefulness than PHP, and is a much cooler language in general, after some serious thinking, I decided on going with PHP.  I couldn’t figure out an easy enough way of getting around the database problem.  I looked at a few solutions, like CouchDB, which is seriously cool, but

I also signed up for Dropbox, which seems very cool, but I haven’t really used it yet.

I’ve decided that I am going to make an openFrameworks addon for the Echonest API for my Laborers of Love project. What is Echonest?

  1. An API that powers great recommendations for your users by understanding every song, review and news article on your music site.
  2. Upload any song and receive an XML ‘musical score’ detailing tempo, beats, time signature, song sections, timbre, key, and other musical attributes.
  3. Your users want more than a static artist page. Connect them to everything on the web and become their first source for all things music.

It’s feature #2 that is particularly interesting to me and I think it will make a nice little OF addon.  Unless someone has already done it…  I haven’t looked into it yet.

At the end of the month, I will be going to Troy to give some talks at RPI as part of a collaboration with the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) that sits on RPI’s campus.  The talks are 2 hours long!  One at an animation class, and one at a web design class, I think.  I will be talking about mostly my installations, and getting into some of the technical stuff behind what makes them work.

As I type, I am sitting in JFK, waiting for my delayed flight to San Francisco for the TV of Tomorrow conference.  This week, Aaron and I have been working on our presentation for the conference, but with all of the other stuff going on, we didn’t get very far, and we are going to have to do the bulk of the work in SF.

I am pretty much done gathering material for Episode 2 of Crowded, and Episode 1 is also dangerously close to being released.  It’s about fucking time!

As part of the Mixer:Olympiad, we have been collecting videos of people carrying the “torch”.  From the site:

Eyebeam is running a torch relay as part of opening ceremony for MIXER: OLYMPIAD, and we want you to carry the torch for a leg of it!

To be exact, we want you to download the PDF file attached below and print it out with a color printer, attach it to something torch-like (a stick, handle, pole), and make a video of yourself running with it. If you don’t have a color printer, try to get something close to the same color. Your video should be no longer than 1 minute. The video should start with you entering the frame from the left, and end with you handing off the torch to an unseen person out of the frame to the right. This is important because we will edit the videos together so that the relay (handing off the torch) looks more or less continuous. But beyond that, it’s pretty much up to you what you do.

If you want to be part of the video, you can either submit it using this form, or find the task at Mechanical Turk and get paid for it!

I applied for MAW residency with a new idea that I am pretty excited about, and started on Harvestworks New Works application. The pressure is on to find something to do after Eyebeam, so wish me luck!

Finally, I started playing with MIDI in Ableton Live, which is tons of fun.  Look forward to some Hall & Oates remixes soon.

This will make you LOL.

In non-geeky news, I also made it back to Topman this week to buy some clothes for my SF trip, and it is really a great store.  The clothes there just fit so much better than any other comparably priced stuff in other stores.  Highly recommended.

People: Jeff Crouse
Tags: Weeknotes